Edit: Truck is a V6, 4x4, automatic
A little background:
I'm not a huge MPG nut with the intent of saving a penny or being super eco-friendly... I'm a super goal orientated person and just for the heck of it, I set a goal of reaching 25 MPG at some point during the truck's life.
I filled up this afternoon in preparation for my weekly commute (as I usually do every Sat/Sun). Over the past few weeks I've come pretty close to hitting the 25 MPG mark, and this past week, I finally hit it!
This past week's average MPG: 25.1 MPG!
Now for the question I'm sure will be asked... how did you do it?!?!
2005 AC 4x4, 45,XXX miles, STOCK (including tires)
My daily commute is ~40 miles round trip, with 90% being highway. This past week I had to work long days so I ended up leaving home around 6am before any real traffic was on the interstate, and leaving work around 7pm (again very light traffic at that point).
- I usually average 55-60 mph in the right hand lane. In the past this has netted me 23-24 MPG. Speed limit on I-70 is 55 mph and most of the time, people go around 55-60 so I know I'm not obstructing traffic (many times I end up passing semi-trucks that are going 50ish in the RH lane).
- This past week I started doing the "pulse and glide" technique. My commute has a few small hills here and there, and since there wasn't much traffic around me, I started coasting down the small hills (the hills are not very tall, but have just enough down slope to carry the truck for ~1/8 - 1/4 miles). I would make sure that when I hit the apex of the hill I was going ~60 mph, and would then glide down the hill until I eventually slowed down to 55, at which point I would maintain that speed.
- As usual, I pay attention to upcoming stoplights and time them such that when I see the hand flashing, I start coasting to the stoplight (again making sure I'm not slowing down people behind me... I don't want to be that asshole).
- I'm pretty light on the gas pedal (slow acceleration when there is nobody behind me)
- I usually try to keep the RPMs at or below 1,500 if traffic conditions permit
- 99% of the time I fill up at the same gas station, using the same pump (using the same pump is more coincidence than anything)
- I don't use a scangauge or any fancy tracking methods... I use the plain ol' (Miles per Tank) / (Gallons put in) to calculate my average MPG.
- In the past (when I had my 95 Corolla) I have found that there is little to no noticeable difference in MPG between different brands of gas... it all comes down to driving habits! The same has held true for my truck
- During the hot summer months, I've noticed NO difference in average MPG when using 85 vs. 91 octane gas (at altitude, air is too hot and thin for octane to make a difference in our trucks). However, in the cold winter months, there is a very noticeable difference in both average MPG and performance (knock wise).
Lay off the hard acceleration, pay attention to stop lights and time your deceleration/acceleration accordingly, slow down on the interstate, try doing pulse-and-glide when and where appropriate.
For you highway drivers out there, I think the biggest factor in improving average MPG is to slow down. I've seen pretty significant increases when slowing down from 70 mph to 60 mph. However, IMHO 55 seems to be the sweet spot where the truck still has enough power to climb a small incline without downshifting, while still keeping the RPMs around 1500.
Again, I could really care less about the money saved between getting 21 vs 25 MPG (after all, it's only a couple bucks in the end), I just do this mainly as a "I wonder if this can be done" kind of thing.
So now that I've hit the 25 MPG mark, I think this next tank I'll have a little fun with the truck